The venerable Riva yard is planning to introduce a new 88-footer. Due to launch at the start of 2015, the 88 Miami is designed to be one of the largest open top powerboats ever devised and (with its mechanised opening roof), the first fully convertible powerboat in the world.
Developed by Ferretti (and built by deck gear specialist, Besenzoni), the roof mechanism uses a pair of electro-hydraulic arms, which emerge from the sides of the coachroof, swing the hardtop forwards and lower it into position on the foredeck seating area. They then tuck themselves back into their pods, leaving 40 feet of foredeck ahead and nearly 40 feet of open cockpit behind. Happily, the process can also be paused, creating a very useful suspended sunshade above the foredeck seats.
Even so, with the roof retracted, Riva is describing the 88 Miami as “the biggest, coolest and most awesome open powerboat the world has ever seen” – and if you want to make it slightly more “awesome”, you can specify the extra 400hp of the optional MTU 16V 2000 M94 engines. Of course, the 5 per cent increase in performance would reduce the cruising range from 340 to 325 nautical miles – so in either case, exploring that ‘Category A’ rating on oceanic transits is not on the cards. But for a spot of high-end marina-hopping in the Caribbean, this ingenious four-berth plaything looks like an extremely compelling package.
It’s certainly not the world’s first powered convertible - and I would be profoundly surprised if it were the second, third or even fourth. In that regard, its grandiose words sound about as plausible as its starter boat credentials. But if you’re lucky enough to be in the market for a five million pound ‘sports boat’, you owe it to yourself to take a closer look. www.venturaeurope.com
Riva 88 Miami: Specifications
Guest cabins: 4
Crew cabins: 4
Fuel capacity: 7,500 litres
Water capacity: 900 litres
Standard engines: 2 x MTU 16V 2000 M93
Max speed: 38.5 knots
Cruising range: 340nm
RCD category: A
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